What is scouring?

Scouring is basically the process of deep cleaning or washing raw sheep fleece or alpaca fiber. Scouring allows all wool contaminants to be removed to its maximum ability.

How is wool prepared for the scouring process?

Wool is prepared for scouring through opening, blending, and cleaning operations. The mechanical opening process of wool enables dirt and dust to be released from the greasy wool fibers and also allows the liquor to penetrate the wool fiber more easily during scouring. Then, the machinery is used to blend and clean the wool to prepare it for the scouring process.

What is the scouring process?

Scouring is done by using several scouring bowls and several rinsing bowls which removes the contaminants from the raw wool fibers.

Scouring of wool/Scouring process
Scouring of wool/Scouring process

What is the fiber damage in wool scouring?

As wool is a relatively weak fiber, fiber damage in wool scouring can possibly occur. Mechanical damage, pH levels, and the scouring temperature are all possible sources of fiber damage. Mechanical damage may cause more of a wet strength loss in the fiber, but this is generally able to be easily fixed. Chemical damage on the wool fibers may also occur due to the pH levels, which cause yellowing and damage to the fiber. Thermal degradation can also occur with prolonged exposure causing loss of strength and yellowing of the fiber.

How can grease be removed from wool?

Grease and dirt can effectively be removed by spreading water over the entire surface of the fibers, loosening and removing the grease and dirt, and suspending the molecules of grease and dirt in the liquor that will be rinsed out.

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